It has certainly been far less of a talking point for Browns fans, but the compensation used to move from four to three certainly could have been used elsewhere in the 2012 draft had it not been used to grab Trent Richardson. It is possible that those picks could have been used in the pursuit of Kendall Wright or one of the other receivers in a first round trade-up scenario. Alas, the Browns used those picks to ensure they landed Trent Richardson. Now the Vikings say the Browns were wise to do so.
But Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman told the Pioneer Press that if the Vikings didn’t trade down with the Browns, they might have traded down with some other team that wanted Richardson.
“We did have offers on the table, I can tell you that. I’m not going to tell you who or what. But I will say Cleveland did the right thing,” Spielman said. “We definitely would have looked at some of the other options.”
Granted, Vikings GM Spielman is unlikely to say the opposite even if it is true. The only thing worse in GM circles than fleecing a fellow GM would be to show your seven-deuce off-suit as soon as you bluffed the other GM into giving up the pot and laying his cards down. So take it for what it is. I don’t know if the Vikings really would have traded out of Matt Kalil territory. It would have been interesting to see it play out that way in another space-time continuum or something. In this one though, on the heels of missing out on Robert Griffin III, I’ll just be happy the Browns got the best running back prospect and potentially one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in the 2012 draft locked up.
[Related: A few additional Browns post-draft thoughts]